Tuesday, October 03, 2006

McDonalds Dinners

I've been meaning to post this one for a while....

From the SMH Friday August 18th
PLASTIC money, Tiny Teddy biscuits and Colonel burgers all share a little-known fact.
They were all trialled in the Hunter region in northern NSW, writes Paul Scott.

With a range of other products, they initially were subjected to the considered opinion of discerning Hunter consumers before being released to the nation's wallets and stomachs.

And this year the region is celebrating its 50th anniversary as Australia's top test market.
The Hunter has held a special place in the arteries of advertising hearts since Cyril Renwick, an economics professor at the then Newcastle University College, formed the Hunter Valley Research Foundation in 1956.

Professor Renwick's market research in the region, backed by figures and statistics, was well ahead of its time and attracted advertisers from Sydney and Melbourne.
Following Professor Renwick's lead, marketing gurus believed the place was a demographic microcosm of the entire country.
But while not all test products enjoy longevity after a successful launch in the Hunter, the general rule of the marketing thumb is: "If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere."

A McDonald's launch of four new dinner meals will involve the products being test-marketed in 19 stores in Newcastle and the Hunter for the next three months before they are rolled out across the nation next year. Australian companies have used "live" test markets for decades, using locations such as Newcastle to test new products in what they believe are controlled and isolated environments typical of the national market.

"Newcastle has a self-contained media market and is close to head office, so the organisation is able to maintain a very close watching brief on product performance," a McDonald's spokeswoman said.

Last January, 12 members of a South Korean sales team came to Newcastle to work with the local sales team of global giant Coca-Cola Amatil for the launch of Coca-Cola Zero.

Chapman Meats, Greg Norman's Pasta Sauces and KFC have also tested new ranges on Newcastle and Hunter tastebuds. It was also where Arnott's Tiny Teddy biscuits first received the thumbs up from consumers.

But not everything launched in the Hunter has been successful. The Quicklink smart card (or computer money card), launched at the University of Newcastle in 1995, was marketed as the "missing link" in the shift from cash transactions to a fully electronic system.

Students boycotted the cards as "Big Brother's helpers" and the NSW Privacy Committee viewed them as "a potentially privacy intrusive technology".
First rejected in the Hunter, they are yet to be embraced in Australia.

Hunter Valley Research Foundation economist Robin McDonald said: "The Lower Hunter tends to have an older population . . . and a lower education attainment than Sydney."

Tried first in the Hunter
· Chapman's Naturalean low-fat meats
· Greg Norman's pasta sauces
· Arnott's Tiny Teddy biscuits
· The polymer bank note
· McDonald's breakfast menu
· KFC Colonel Burgers
· McDonald's salad plus
· Office supplies in Australia Post stores
· Quicklink Smart Cards
· McDonald's dinner meals

So, there you have it...
Beef Bolognaise, Beef Rendang etc...

The second batch of local adverts have couples invited to taste a sample while the second celebrity wheels up a set of Golden Arches behind the people. I have to say, unlike the low fat burgers, salads and wraps... these are a winner... low cost, good serves, nice food...

As someone who struggles with choosing healthy food options on the run/road these actualy work!!

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